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August 22, 2003 - Image 29

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2003-08-22

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Insight

Remember
When .

Presidential Impact

From the pages of the Jewish News
from this week 10, 20, 30, 40, 50
and 60 years ago.

Local family inspired by hope of a better life for Argentinas Jews.

ROBERT A. SKLAR
Editor

23rd International Association of
Jewish Genealogical Societies' annual
summer conference. Kirchner was
there to meet with President Bush.

y chance, a Huntington
Woods family with
Argentine roots heard the
A Couple With Charisma
new president of Argentina
detail his governing agenda to re-ener-
The Kirchners were instant hits at the
gize the lagging, but important South
embassy reception.
American country.
"It was as if a 'new millennium Juan
David C. Sloan, his wife, Kathy, and Peron and Evita' had just entered the
their 16-year-old son, John, met
room and were speaking to us," said
President Nestor Kirchner and his
Sloan, who was invited by the
wife, Christina, at the Argentine
Secretary of the Embassy, Julio
Embassy in Washington on July 23.
Mercado. "However, the political and
Sloan, who has more than 100
personal differences are monumental.
cousins living in Argentina, said
"Even if you were not familiar with
Kirchner, a Peronist Party politician
the Spanish language," Sloan added,
from the southern, oil-rich province of "you could sense the feeling that this
Santa Cruz, talked about:
man cared and that he intended to
• reducing government cor-
ruption and rebuilding the
relationship between the presi-
dent and the populace;
• re-opening the probe and
files into the 1994 bombing of
the AMIA (Jewish community)
headquarters and the 1992
bombing of the Israeli
Embassy, both located in
Buenos Aires;
• meeting with leaders of the
Jewish community at the presi-
dential offices, Casada Rosada.
Kirchner also talked about .
reversing the immunity given
David Sloan speaking with President Kirchner.
to leaders of the so-called dirty
war against opponents of the
Argentine military dictatorships from
right the wrongs of so many years."
1976 to 1983. An official investiga-
As he was about to leave for a meet-
tion concluded that 9,000 people were ing with Jewish leaders in New York,
killed or disappeared during the peri-
Kirchner greeted the Sloans and posed
od of these military regimes, although
for a picture. "This is where we were
human rights organizations say the
really able to meet him, and I could
figure could be as high as 30,000.
ask some questions in my elementary
"At least 45 perpetrators have been
Spanish," Sloan said. "We connected."
arrested and are being held for either
trial or, if necessary, extradition,"
Hopeful Signs
Sloan said.
"There's a roundup, and all past
A record 6,325 Argentine Jews made
oppressors of the people will be
aliyah last year — 2,600 during the
brought to justice," he vowed.
first half. This year, only 485 made
Sloan, a Southfield-based attorney,
aliyah during the same time frame,
was in Washington to address the
despite the Jewish Agency of Israel's

promise of significant help to new
immigrants.
The falloff is tied to the hope that
the economy will improve in
Argentina, a country largely of immi-
grants. Nearly 55 percent of
Argentines still live below the poverty
line. However, official unemployment
has fallen to 15.6 percent, down from
20 percent a few months ago.
Employment consulting companies
say the demand for employees has
risen 30 to 50 percent.
"There is an opening and hope that
things might improve," said Patrico
Abranzon, a political scientist special-
izing in international migration and a
consultant to Argentina's Jews. "The
psychosis is over.
Some of the country's 200,000 Jews,
mainly members of the middle class,
are re-opening their businesses. The
rate of aliyah, though dropping, is
returning to the levels before
Argentina's economic crisis.
Until the crisis, 1,000 people moved
to Israel from Argentina each year.
Despite the renewed optimism in
Argentina, °effects of the economic
meltdown still are evident.
The number of Argentine Jews
embracing an integrated social welfare
net has risen to 36,000 from 9,000 in
1999. The net has been jointly cast by
the American Jewish Joint
Distribution Committee, a local wel-
fare foundation called Tzedaka, the
Jewish community's central institution
AMIA, Chabad-Lubavitch and the
Sephardi community.
The net provides food tickets, medi-
cine, rent, scholarships and job train-
ing. More people are seeking help
than giving it up.
Kirchner's May 25 election helped
spur the sudden interest among
Argentine Jews in staying put, Sloan
said. "For the first time in many
years," Sloan said, "there is hope in
Argentina for the entire population,
including the Jewish community." E

"

— The Jewish Telegraphic Agency
contributed to this report.

Maya Letbovic of Jerusalem
becomes the first native Jerusalem
woman to be ordained a rabbi.
Nine computers are stolen from
Bais Chabad in Farmington Hills,
worth an estimated $4,000.

It

Temple Beth Jacob in Pontiac
elects Arvene Dickstein, the first
female president since its inception
in 1923.

Gideon Biran, director of the
Detroit office of the Israel Aliya
Center Inc., will speak at the first
Flint Jewish Community Council
board meeting.

Congregation Beth Abraham's
Detroit-based leadership training
group will send delegates to the
ninth annual Yeshiva University
Synagogue Council Youth Seminar
in Camp Monroe, N.Y.
The Livonia Jewish
Congregation bowling league
announces registration for its fall
league.

mosa

The Detroit Board of Education
elects Rabbi Leon Fram of Temple
Israel as a member of the Detroit
Library Commission.
A group of 42 members of the
General Zionist Youth movement
of Buenos Aires, Argentina, sail to
settle in Israel.

lo arnsimasums,

Detroiters of all faiths mourn the
unexpected death of highly
esteemed Judge Harry Keiden.
Mrs. Joseph M. Welt, one of the
most prominent women leaders in
Detroit, is named one of three
national delegates of the National
Council of Jewish Women to the
American Jewish Conference.

— Compiled by Holly Teasdle,
archivist, the Rabbi Leo Al
Franklin Archives of Temple Beth El

Si22
2003

29

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